[INDOLOGY] Question about a copper plate

jacob at fabularasa.dk jacob at fabularasa.dk
Tue Oct 19 12:21:58 UTC 2021

I am attaching Rivière's French translation of the Yantracintāmaṇi from 
1976 with all the yantras beautifully drawn up in red ink. That is, of 
course, only a drop in the ocean of yantras, but at least it is a good 
place to start. The text was critically edited by Hans-Georg Türstig in 
1988, but I do not have a digital scan at hand.

I would be happy to take a second look at the yantra if you manage to 
decipher the inscriptions in more detail.


Anna Slaczka skrev den 2021-10-19 14:12:
> Dear Jacob,
> Fabulous, thank you! A yantra of 5 by 5 and the number written next to
> it - that makes perfect sense. I can try to read the engravings with
> better light, but I doubt that I can read all of them, ever. I can see
> a ‘ta’, and probably ‘Ta’ (or ‘da’), but not in a sequence. Where
> could I find examples of such yantras (might be too many of them…).
> With thanks,
> Anna.
> Sent from my iPhone
>> On 19 Oct 2021, at 13:58, jacob at fabularasa.dk wrote:
>> Dear Anna,
>> It looks like a 5x5 grid yantra (which might explain the number 25 
>> next to the grid). Perhaps if the inscriptions were easier to make 
>> out, it would be possible to identify it more precisely. There does 
>> not seem to be any obvious connection to games, though the 
>> Yantracintāmaṇi does contain a similar yantra for achieving success in 
>> games (yantra no. 73). It is inscribed on an 8x8 grid which is 
>> navigated by a knight's tour (vājikrama). This means that you place a 
>> chess-knight in one space, and then jump around the grid according to 
>> the knight's move until you have landed on all the squares without 
>> landing on the same square twice. If you do it correctly, the 
>> resulting series of 64 syllables go together to form two ślokas which 
>> can be used as a mantra to ensure success in games.
>> Best,
>> Jacob
>> Jacob Schmidt-Madsen
>> Postdoctoral Researcher in Indology
>> Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies
>> University of Copenhagen
>> Denmark
>> Anna Slaczka via INDOLOGY skrev den 2021-10-19 12:20:
>>> Dear Colleagues,
>>> I came across a small copper plate from India (approximately 18 cm in
>>> length) with an image of an elephant engraved on it. On the back of
>>> the elephant there is a ‘cloth’ with checkered pattern with in each
>>> square a Devanagari letter (too worn out to read them all) and on top
>>> there is something more, perhaps a figure holding a banner (I might 
>>> be
>>> horribly wrong). A few more single letters and even a longer word and
>>> a number (25) are ‘scattered’ around the elephant. Please see the
>>> photograph. The back of the  plate is not decorated.
>>> Does any of you even seem something like that and know perhaps wat it
>>> is, and what was it used for? A (card) game perhaps?
>>> Many thanks and with best wishes,
>>> Anna.
>>> Sent from my iPhone
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